Couple won't sell to BAA

PUBLISHED: 09:06 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 07:23 30 May 2010

A COUPLE from Takeley is set to make a last stand against Stansted airport operators BAA by NOT selling their property to the airport industry giants. The company has taken their property spending to over £90million this week, completing the purchase of

A COUPLE from Takeley is set to make a 'last stand' against Stansted airport operators BAA by NOT selling their property to the airport industry giants.

The company has taken their property spending to over £90million this week, completing the purchase of the Three Horseshoes Pub in Molehill Green.

BAA now own all but six of the properties within the boundary of a proposed second runway which will be built if it gets planning permission via a public inquiry.

However, John and Rosemarie Welch, who live just 1000 feet from Stansted's current runway at Coopers End, will not be selling up anytime soon.

Mr Welch said: "We don't want to be forced to move out of our home. Our children grew up here and we love the village that we live in.

"We will be standing firm until the time comes when all of the complications over the second runway proposals become clear. We don't believe that will be anytime soon and we do not think the runway will ever be built."

"If the airport did ever get permission for a second runway then we would have to consider selling. We cannot just stick our head in the sand - but until things are certain we are making a stand."

The couple have lived at their 17th century grade II cottage for over 37 years but have had the opportunity to sell up as part of a BAA scheme to free homeowners from the airport's noisy grasp.

A BAA spokesman said: "We put in place voluntary schemes to help those affected by the second runway proposals and to remove any uncertainty for homeowners.

"We have committed tens of millions of pounds to protecting local property values, to ensuring people are treated fairly and to giving them the choice to move if the need or want to, at no personal expense.

"The schemes are recognised as among the best of their kind in the UK and have been welcomed by many of those they are designed to support."

The Stop Stansted Expansion group were disappointed that the Three Horseshoes pub landlord had decided to sell up at the start of September.

But campaign director, Carol Barbone, emphasised that the fight against the second runway will still go on.

She said: "We held gatherings in the pub and there is no reason why this practice will change as long as we have the cooperation of the landlord.

"The sooner BAA recognises that its second runway proposals are going nowhere and withdraws its planning application the better. We can then rebuild our community."

A second runway was originally planned to open in 2012. The date of the new public inquiry is not set and will not happen before a General Election scheduled for May.

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